In late 2021, the Commission for Arts & Culture, for the City of Rochester, contracted several artists and AMI Graphics to install a variety of art pieces on downtown municipal buildings, to create a Public Art Walk. The Commission collaborated with a diverse group of NH artists to create an Art Walk that incorporates existing downtown murals and sculptures from previous efforts.
Organizers enlarged digital rendering to create vinyl murals, a material that can be applied or removed without compromising the integrity of the surface area.
“Vinyl murals are great because they don’t damage the buildings and the material is safe in the sun and extreme weather,” said Matt Wyatt, Commission Chair. “Our murals are easily removed or replaced. This was an easy way for us to support local artists and create some additional downtown vibrancy.”
The murals have been installed on the Public Library, Fire Department, Police Department, and City Hall. A sculpture was also installed at the Public Library by Barrington artist Adam Pearson. The art sites and designs were approved by the Planning Board, Historic District Commission, and the City Manager’s Office.
Artists include Laura Harper Lake, Michele Johnsen, Mike Durkee (Durkish Delights), Nate Twombly, Sarah Koff, Scotty Arsenault, Susan Schwake, Adam Pearson, and Tom Glover.
The Art Walk was funded by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and a contribution from the City’s Economic Development Department. Michael Scala, Director of Economic Development, describes the project as a benefit to all that look to enjoy the downtown.
“We have a lot of commercial and residential development happening right now and we anticipate a lot of people living downtown in the next year or so,” said Scala. “These new residents are looking for activity, things to do, places to go. We need to be ready for them.”
Shanna Saunders, Director of Planning & Development and staff liaison for the Commission for Arts & Culture, says she’s thrilled to see so many art projects happening in the immediate downtown area.
“Rochester has done a wonderful job embracing local arts, in supporting everything from the Museum of Fine Arts and Opera House to installing several unique murals and sculptures around the city,” said Saunders. “These new murals are just the next step in expanding our public art offerings in our growing and vibrant downtown!”
Saunders also extended gratitude to local officials, Governor Sununu, the Executive Council, and Rochester members of the NH State Legislature for supporting the NH State Arts Council and public art funding.
Visit www.RochesterNH.net > Boards & Commissions > Arts and Culture to see the Virtual Art Map, learn more about the Commission for Arts & Culture, and see the interactive Virtual Art Map.